Top headlines from the Board of County Commissioners meeting

by | Jun 18, 2024

The following are highlights from today’s Washoe County Board of County Commissioners meeting:    

1. Washoe County completes final payment in Incline Village property tax settlement: The Board of County Commissioners approved the final payment to Incline Village residents who overpaid their property tax dating back to 2003-2006. Negotiations and filings spanned 17 years, and the $56 million settlement was approved by the Board on Aug. 2, 2020. Based on the claims submitted, Washoe County has paid out approximately $44 million, and they must be completed by June 21, 2024.

2. Board advances renewal of library tax override to appear on General Election ballot: In 1994, Washoe County residents voted for a 30-year dedicated tax override of $.02 for every $100 of assessed property value for the Washoe County Library System. In September of 2000 the Board of County Commissioners, through a resolution, created the Library Expansion Fund for the purpose of clearly identifying the funds received from the tax. The funds must be used for the expansion of services including, but not limited to, additional library branch debt service payments, expanded library services, expanded library hours and additional library collections.  

The tax override will expire at the end of this year unless renewed by voters in the General Election in November, and for the question to appear on the ballot, the Board of County Commissioners must first approve the resolution.  

“This is the approval of a resolution that allows a submittal of a question to all registered voters,” Deputy District Attorney Mary Kandaras clarified. “Essentially you’re approving the resolution, which is in your power, to put it on the ballot. In the General Election, voters would decide if they want the tax.”

3. Washoe County Leadership Academy graduates present class project: The second iteration of the Washoe County Leadership Academy concluded its program with a presentation of its class project created by the more than 20 academy participants. The cohort shared information about Foster Connect, a program benefitting foster families facing challenges such as unexpected expenses, feelings of isolation and lack of support, burnout, and dealing with emotional strain that foster life can present.

Foster Connect links Washoe County businesses that offer exclusive discounts, promotions, and services to foster families, creating goodwill and brand loyalty within the community, while highlighting the need for more foster families in the region. Foster Connects aims to bridge the gap of services for foster families while increasing community awareness for the great need for families to provide loving homes for vulnerable children in the community. Business sectors that have already signed up to be a part of Foster Connect include entertainment, dining, personal care, and more.  

“One of the words I think is overused is ‘vulnerable population,’ but I think children are truly the vulnerable population and anything you can do with foster children and helping making their lives easier is a blessing, so thank you for the good work,” Commissioner Mike Clark said. 

Bruce O’Brien and Allison Anderson presented on behalf of the 2024 class and encouraged businesses throughout Washoe County to consider signing up to be a part of the Foster Connect program, with those who register to be a participating business receiving a welcome kit to include a window decal, table tents, and more.  

The 2024-25 WCLA is accepting applications through June 21, 2024, with 35 participants being accepted. 

4. Board appoints James Barnes to Planning Commission: The County Commissioners voted to appoint Reno resident and attorney James Barnes to the At Large South of the Truckee River seat on the Planning Commission role for a four-year term beginning July 1. The Planning Commission’s role is to adopt the County’s Master Plan and to provide other land-use duties as established in County codes. Barnes previously served for eight years on the Planning Commission and represented the Planning Commission, Board of Adjustment, and Community Services Department during his tenure as a Deputy District Attorney.

5. Board renews agreement with Northern Nevada Legal Aid for CPS program: Since 2002, Northern Nevada Legal Aid has provided legal representation to children in Washoe County’s Child Protective Services program. The Board approved a three-year renewal of the agreement for approximately $1.6 million.

6. Board approves District Special Funds: Washoe County Commissioner Mike Clark proposed allocating the final $77,000 of the District 2 Special Funds. They include:

  • $10,000 to the Reno Toy Run to support its mission of providing toys for children in need;  
  • $10,000 to Senior ResQ to assist seniors with help when their rent has been raised; 
  • $7,500 to the Sanford Center for Aging to enhance the quality of life and well-being among elders through education, translational research, and community outreach; 
  • $5,000 to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada to support the mission of ending hunger in Northern Nevada; 
  • $5,000 to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Western Nevada to support the nonprofit’s programs to educate citizens about mental illness;  
  • $5,000 to Northern Nevada Literacy Council (NNLC) to support its Cares Campus project;  
  • $5,000 to Opportunity Alliance Nevada  to support its mission of building sustainable communities across Nevada to stabilize and improve the lives of individuals and families;  
  • $5,000 to the Virginia Range Wildlife Protection Association to support the cleanup efforts of the Virginia Range;  
  • $4,000 to the Lifestyle Homes Foundation to support the foundation’s programs; 
  • $4,000 to Northern Nevada HOPES to provide affordable, high-quality medical, behavioral health and support services for all;  
  • $3,000 to the Northern Nevada Member Assistance Program to support the future efforts of assisting working families through its food pantry and apprentice assistance programs;  
  • $2,500 to the India Association of Northern Nevada to support scholarship program for children in the community;  
  • $2,500 to Jewish Nevada to engage the community to invest, enrich, and ensure the vibrancy and continuity of Jewish life in Nevada;  
  • $2,500 to the Nevada Center for Civic Engagement to support the We the People: Civil and Constitution program to promote civic competence and responsibility among the nation’s upper elementary and secondary students;  
  • $2,000 to Guitars for Vets to support the music therapy program for veterans;  
  • $2,000 to Veteran’s Guest House to support its mission of providing U.S. military service veterans and their families with caring support during times of medical need;  
  • $2,000 to the Washoe County Human Service Agency to support the Sparks Senior Center water-filling station.